24-hour rule: Michigan football rolls past East Carolina

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) grabs a snap against East Carolina during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023.
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) grabs a snap against East Carolina during the first half at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. /

Michigan football got off on the right foot Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines rolled East Carolina 30-3 to begin the season 1-0.

The Wolverines have high expectations for the 2023 football season. They’re not only looking to repeat as Big Ten Champions for the third year in a row, but they looking to get over the hump in the College Football Playoff and win a national title.

J.J. McCarthy led the way offensively against ECU

The Michigan offense was led by the passing game, which was a little surprising considering the nation’s top running back duo was in the game. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy completed 26 of his 30 pass attempts throwing for 280 yards and three touchdowns.

McCarthy looked extremely comfortable in the pocket and even danced out of it while throwing on the run. The ball placement was like he was putting on a clinic. Sure, it was against East Carolina, but some of the throws he was making were spectacular.

All three of McCarthy’s touchdown passes were thrown to wide receiver Roman Wilson, who recently switched to #1. It is safe to say, at least after week one, he is living up to the history of that jersey number.

The Michigan run game was not at all what we expected. A couple of good runs from running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards showed flashes of what we saw last season, but they weren’t able to get much sustainability in the season opener.

Corum had 10 carries for 73 yards including a touchdown. Edwards had 12 carries for 37 yards. Should we be concerned about this? Probably not. Both backs seemed to try to score a touchdown every time they got the ball rather than taking the yards the defense was giving them, which would then turn into sustainability.

I am sure this is something that they will be able to see in the film and get fixed for next week. However, it has to be said that the offensive line, on some run plays, had missed assignments causing Corum and Edwards to be caught behind the line of scrimmage.

How did the Wolverines defense look against ECU?

The Michigan defense didn’t give up any points until there were seconds on the clock as East Carolina called a timeout and kicked a field goal on third down to avoid the shutout.

The Pirates struggled to get anything going all game long. When they were able to pick up a first down, they were immediately met with a quick third down. Safety Keon Sabb had a noticeably great game in coverage, breaking up a couple of big pass plays, and also had five tackles.

The one concern (if we want to call it a concern) is the fact that Michigan really didn’t get any pressure on ECU quarterback’s Mason Garcia or Alex Finn. The Wolverines had zero sacks in the game while only having four tackles for loss.

Junior Colson had a nice day, having two tackles for loss totaling five tackles in the season opener. Mike Sainristil, who started his career at Michigan as an offensive player, had the one takeaway via interception for the Michigan defense.

The overall takeaway from the week one victory

Michigan did what they were supposed to, despite not covering the spread in their week one victory over East Carolina. The passing game looks far better than what it was last year and even though we didn’t see the run game get going, it is not an area to be concerned about.

Overall, the team has some work to do on both sides of the ball, as they will have to improve in my facets of the game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the run game be a major emphasis next week as well as some more pressure on the quarterback defensively.

Next. 3 takeaways from Michigan football win over ECU. dark

The Wolverines take on UNLV next Saturday at The Big House. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. The Rebels are 1-0 as well as they defeated Bryant 44-14 yesterday.